Sunday, July 29, 2012

Analogies, Parables, and Teaching Stories- Part 3

I've always had a thing for analogies, parables, and the like. As teaching tools, they use every-day situations and ideas to explain complex principles, making those complex ideas a whole lot easier to understand. Often, they can explain ideas that would otherwise be nigh impossible to explain accurately.

Jesus, Himself, used parables all the time in His teaching. Sometimes this was to make the teaching of a certain principle easier. But often He didn't give an explanation. He simply allowed people to take from the "nice story" what they would- an act of mercy, given that we are each held accountable for following the doctrines we understand.

The first in this series was about ducks. The second one was about medicine.. and salvation.

This time, I want to talk about math class--

When I was a senior in high school, I took pre-Calculus/Trigonometry, which is rather advanced math for high school. In one of my other classes, another senior was talking about her math class. Apparently, they'd gone to the gym to learn about angles of incident/reflection. I'd learned that 3 years before, never having been taken to the gym to learn it.

I realized that we were at totally different places when it came to understanding math. My math papers probably had more letters than numbers, and if I'd shown them to a 3rd grader or even this other classmate, they probably would wonder what I was talking about- "There are no numbers, therefore it can't possibly be math!" But having learned everything up to that point- multiplication tables, division, fractions, algebra, geometry... I understood that sometimes, letters and pictures DO have a place in mathematics.

Unlike in high school, there is no clearly defined hierarchy of spiritual understanding... but I firmly believe it exists. There are churches that teach only the most basic and simple doctrines, ideas, and practices that are required for salvation. There are churches whose teachings are a little deeper, requiring a little more effort to learn, understand, and apply. Then there are churches whose teachings, when compared to the most basic and simple doctrines.. don't even look like the same thing!.... Works and faith really do both have a place in obtaining salvation.


  1. Wow, I hadn't thought about a hierarchy of spiritual truths / understandings / learnings. Very well said! I hadn't even thought of it looking different because it was more advanced yet being very literally the same subject. Wow. Deep. Gonna go home and re-think my life after this - lol.

    1. Tsk- my Warrior friend! Of course its all the same "subject"- Father is Father and His truths are His truths, no matter what sect you allign yourself with. Some know His truth better or more thoroughly than others. Some know this part but not that part. Some have a (dare I say?) talent for learning and understanding these things... and some don't.